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While the theme parks get all of the press, there is plenty of culture to be found in Orlando as well. For a traditional museum experience, the city is home to the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando History Center, and the Morse Museum of American Art. But those looking for a more unique way to soak up some culture will find a few good options in Orlando.
The Harry P. Leu Gardens in Winter Park offers a peaceful stroll through some of the most beautifully manicured landscapes in Orlando. The 50-acre park offers a high-tech educational experience, utilizing QR codes to give guests more information about the artwork and greenery found throughout the grounds.
Another unique museum in Orlando isn't a museum at all. Billed as "An Experience in Art and Music," the Grand Bohemian Hotel surrounds guests with an array of fine art from around the world. The collection is said to be valued at over a million dollars and features pieces by Dale Chihuly, Gustav Klimpt, and Marcel Marceau among others. After touring the hotel's art collection, stop in to the Bosendorfer Lounge for a signature martini and the gentle melodies coming from the Imperial Grand Bosendorfer piano, one of only two in the world.
Orlando is full of culture, art and entertainment — you just have to know where to find it. There are several places to get a taste of Orlando’s style and when you’re looking in the right places, you’ll be amazed at the talent this beautiful city holds.
The first, most important museum to visit is the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA). This museum holds showcases of talented artists that are recognized both locally and nationally. Guests can find displays of sculptures, paintings and much more. Another great museum is the Orlando Science Center, which offers fun, hands-on exhibits for visitors of all ages. Finally, tucked away on a scenic shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park is where you’ll find the Mennello Museum of American Art. This museum captures a folk era and features American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows.
One of Orlando’s most undiscovered treasures is the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. Besides featuring a collection of permanent and rotating art in the gallery inside this beautiful Spanish villa, the Polasek’s pride and joy is its outdoor sculpture garden, which features over a dozen pieces speckled throughout the meticulously manicured garden and lawn perched on Winter Park’s Lake Osceola. It’s totally fine to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by the lake as long as you bring your garbage away with you. Admission is $5 to the museum, which is closed Mondays.
While you’re in the area, stop in to another area gem: the Cornell Fine Arts Museum located on the beautiful Rollins College campus. While the museum celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, admission is free.
Wander north on Park Avenue and you’ll discover The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, home to the biggest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Recent additions include the Daffodil Terrace, a gorgeous glass-enclosed gallery featuring a skylight covered by six large panels of iridescent-glass tiles in a pear-tree motif.